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FOREIGN SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES
Reprint of Hearings Before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, Sixty-seventh Congress, Fourth Session
On H. R. 12543
FOR THE REORGANIZATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES,
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
DECEMBER 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 1922
Hon. CHARLES Evans Hughes, Secretary of State
Hon. FRANK L. POLK, Formerly Undersecretary of State
FOREIGN SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES.
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, Tuesday, December 12, 1922. The committee this day met, Hon. Stephen G. Porter (chairman) presiding. STATEMENT OF MR. WILBUR J. CARR, DIRECTOR OF THE CON
SULAR SERVICE, STATE DEPARTMENT. The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order. Mr. Carr, will you give your full name and official position to the stenographer, and proceed.
Mr. CARR. Wilbur J. Carr, Director of the Consular Service, Department of State.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I think I should say at the beginning of my remarks that the bill contains very little that is new in principle. You have done in Congress, in one form or another, practically everything that is in the bill. You have in the past adopted the principle of classifying the diplomatic service below the grade of minister; you have adopted the principle of classifying the entire consular service, and you have adopted the principle of post allowances. You have bonded consular officers, although you have not bonded diplomatic officers. You have established a retirment system for the classified civil-service employees of the Government. In other words, you have from time to time, first by one act and then by another, done practically everything for other governmental activities which this bill proposes to do for the diplomatic and consular services. The novel feature of this bill is the combination which it contains of those things which have been adopted by Congress in the past in one form and another and its application of them to the foreign service.
The first point to which I would like to direct your attention is that part of the bill which adopts a new and uniform salary scale. You have already classified consuls with a minimum salary of $2,000 in class 9 up to a maximum salary of $12,000 for two consuls general in class 1. You have also classified the diplomatic secretaries, beginning with the minimum salary of $2,500 and going up to a maximum salary of $4,000. Now, when you undertake to break down the wall between the two services and bring about interchangeability between the two services, there must be provided some basis upon which that interchangeability can take place. Suppose you desire to take as diplomatic secretary of class 1, a counselor of embassy, and send him as a consul general somewhere where his peculiar qualifications would be desirable. You would have to promote him from $4,000, his diplomatic-service salary, to $5,500, $6,000, $8,000, $12,000, whatever the grade of consul general would seem to be required. That would be inequitable and immediately impair the morale in both branches of the service. On the other hand, if you should wish to take a consul general of superior commercial experience and make him, perhaps, counselor of an embassy, following the British plan of having commercial counselors of embassies to deal with questions of interest to the trade of the country, you would have to reduce him to $4,000. That would not work. An embassy should be able to avail itself of the commercial experience of a consul general without the necessity of reducing his salary in order to give him a position in the embassy. The only way that, apparently, it is feasible to provide for an interchangable service, to unify the foreign service, promote the highest morale in both services, provide for the orderly transfer of men from one branch to the other is to provide a uniform salary scale that shall apply to both the diplomatic and consular branches of the service equally.
The salary scale in this bill has been devised for that purpose. It affords a scale of compensation that is certainly not excessive; $3,000 to $9,000 for all officers below the grade of minister is certainly a modest compensation. I think 8412924 -12
I can reenforce that statement a bit by calling your attention to what is done in the foreign service of at least one other government. The British Diplomatic and Consular Service in the last few years since the war has been very thoroughly reorganized, as Mr. Skinner yesterday explained, and the compensation very generally increased. A consul general in the British service would have from $5,800 to $7,200 salary, as compared with our $5,500 to $8,000. I would rather leave out of consideration the two $12,000 places in the American service, because they are exceptions to the general rule, and it is hardly fair to make these two exceptional posts the basis of comparison. But in addition to the British salaries of $5,800 to $7,200, as compared with our $5,500 to $8,000, there is in addition a representation allowance of from $1,400 to $1,900 and also a rent allowance of $1,200.
Mr. MOORE. What do you mean by representation allowances?
Mr. CARR. I mean by representation allowances those allowances which may be applied to the excessive cost of living, to entertainment, to various personal outlays that are involved in properly representing one's government in a foreign country place. For instance, the British Government gives its consul general in New York, I think, $7,200 salary, but its representation allowance is so much that it brings the total amount of his compensation up to $24,000.
Mr. BROWNE. Do they have to give an account of that fund?
Mr. CARR. They do, I think, up to a certain point have to give an account of the outlay for representation, although just exactly how they manage that, I am not sure. The representation allowance is apt to be a rather complex thing as applied to the foreign service of Great Britain. They have a method of splitting up those allowances administratively to cover different things. For instance, in the British service, in the diplomatic service there is an allowance for china, glass, and plate given to any minister appointed. There is an allowance for a new consul or a new secretary, for uniform, of $500, approximately, There are allowances for motor cars for each head of a mission, and so on. I might go on here with a long list of things that they provide for, which we do not. We provide for nothing but the office expenses and salary and pay traveling expenses, just as Great Britain pays the traveling expenses of its foreign service officers. It is hardly necessary to say that the State Department does not seek authority to supply uniforms and motor cars to ambassadors and ministers.
Going back again to the compensation of our consular men, at Bucharest, in Rumania, the compensation happens to be nearly the same. We pay $5,000; Great Britain pays $5,840. At Gotenborg, Sweden, we pay $4,000; the British pay $9,000. At Stockholm, we pay $8,000; they pay $6,400. In Poland, we pay $6,000; they pay $6,400. În Latin America, at Bahia, in Brazil, we pay $4,000; they pay $8,300. At Para, we pay $5,000; they pay $9,000. At Rio de Janeiro, we pay $8,000; they pay $12,000. At Buenos Aires, we pay $8,000; they pay $11,900.
Mr. BROWNE. Do they exceed us generally in South America?
Mr. CARR. Those cases are typical, and that is not true of South America alone; it is true also of other places. I am just outlining the places where the difference is very great.
Mr. Rogers. May I ask whether in all the British places you are giving the figure represents salary plus representation? Mr. Carr. Plus representation allowances? Mr. ROGERS. And other allowances as well?
Mr. CARR. And other allowances as well, exclusive of office allowances. We do not include that as part of the compensation.
Mr. TEMPLE. The total compensation of one country as compared with the total compensation of the other.
Mr. CARR. Quite so. In Italy, at Genoa, the British pay $9,200; we pay $5,500. At Milan they pay $9,200; we pay $5,500. At Naples they pay $9,200; we pay $5,000. At Palermo they pay $6,400; we pay $4,000.
Those are typical salaries plus representation allowances plus personal and rental allowances.
Comparative statement, British and United States foreign service.
Diplomatic Service. Consular Service.. Foreign office...
Total.. Fees collected.
$988, 817 1,060, 031
484, 409 2,533, 257 3,354, 728 5,887, 985
Percentage by which net cost of British service exceeds net cost of United States service, 60. Comparative statement showing salaries of ambassadors and ministers at importan'
$8,515 43, 978 121,899 1 26, 765
14,599 45,014 17, 032 23, 359 1 24,332
14, 399 19,012 19, 466 21, 899
$17,500 1 17,500 1 17 500 12,000 10,000 1 10,000 10,000 17,500 12,000 10,000 10,000
10,000 1 10,000 17,500 10,000 10,000 1 17,500
1 58, 398
18, 735 138, 932
1 Residences owned by Government and supplied in addition to salary. Comparative statement showing salaries of principal consular officers at important
$5,000 8,000 5,500 4,500 4,000
$3,983,414 $2,994, 597
2,749, 572 6, 104, 300
1 $38, 932
$10,000 | Italy.
Panama 10,000 Persia... 1 17,500
Peru.. 112,000 Poland..
10,000 Portugal. 112, 000
Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. 10,000
Siam. 7,500 || Spain.
21,989 1 18, 248 1 42,581 1 97,330 20, 439
Rotterdam. 3,500 Norway:
2 5,500 23,500
9, 246 6,447 9, 246 6,447
3,500 8,000 8,000 4,000 5,500
9, 246 8,759 8,759 8,759 26, 035
1 Consul temporarily in charge. 2 Office now closed.